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Not too late for employee resolutions

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  • | 7:38 a.m. January 21, 2011
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Even though we're already well into the first month of 2011, it isn't too late for companies to make a few new year's resolutions where their employees are concerned. So says Alva Cross Hughes, an attorney with Fisher & Phillips LLP in Tampa who focuses on labor and employment law.

Here are a few of Hughes' suggestions for employers:

• Revise your employee handbook. Remove outdated policies and consider adding new ones for emerging issues, such as social media. Distribute the updated handbook to all employees and make it readily accessible.

• Revisit anti-discrimination and harassment policies. Make sure the reporting process for complaints is appropriate, current and includes multiple avenues for reporting. Outline the process for investigating complaints, adding guidelines to speak to witnesses, document conversations and provide status updates to the complaining party.

• Document, document, document. The law requires documentation of employee-related complaints, but proper documentation for nearly every employee-related issue can make or break a lawsuit should one arise.

• Schedule training. Longtime staff may be familiar with policies from five (or more) years ago, and staffing changes last year may have created confusion on reporting structure. Short training sessions to review policies, procedures and where to go with questions can be beneficial in preventing problems. During these training sessions, all employees should review and acknowledge anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.


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